The MLB offseason is on fire as Oakland traded its All-Star third baseman to the Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto once again looks outstanding on paper and the A’s appear to be trimming fat and muscle. What should we make of the MLB offseason moves?
The huge baseball moves keep on coming.
Over the weekend, the Oakland Athletics traded away their All-Star third baseman, Josh Donaldson, to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for some prospects, including post-hype sleeper prospect Brett Lawrie.
This seems like a tremendous get for Toronto. Not so suddenly, the Blue Jays have a loaded lineup with the trio of Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion and Joey Bats, as well as the newly acquired Russell Martin.
They also have better pitching and better young pitching that Boston for sure. This move seems like a major league-quality F-You to Boston and successfully I might add. Right now, Toronto is flat-out better.
Of course there are still the Orioles returning a full crew of division-winning players, but the Blue Jays should be feeling good.
For Oakland though, is this it? Another reset and rebuild? The Athletics were arguably the best team in baseball for a large chunk of last season. The second half saw them go through a huge swoon, but they still sneaked into the playoffs. At that point, they lost a demoralizing wildcard game to the eventual pennant winners. Overall, it was a masterful season really. The bounces just didn’t go their way.
And now it’s back to square one? Lester is a free agent; Cespedes was dealt and Donaldson is out the door. It seems like they’re going to trade Jeff Samardzija and maybe some other guys. I understand the low-income outlook here, but look at what Miami just did. Can’t the A’s find some dough to at least run things back one more time? They weren’t that far away.
Oh you’re such a funny guy, always taking an opportunity to poke fun at AL East foes when given the opportunity. We’ve read those Toronto Blue Jays’ sentiments before, too many times to count. They consistently acquire players in the off-season that seem like tremendous ‘gets’ and still come up short. The Blue Jays have been great at MLB offseason moves, but until I see those very moves translate into a playoff appearance, I’m not sold.
That being said, I’m not jumping ship on the Oakland Athletics. Trading an All-Star player for prospects sets them back, potentially, at one position. Yet that player is Josh Donaldson, a career .268 hitter who batted .255 in his All-Star season last year. The RBIs were nice, plating 98 runs, and the home runs were nicer with 29 last season. Donaldson had similar numbers in 2013, actually sporting a .301 batting average, but let’s make one thing clear. He is around a .260 hitter and a 100 RBI guy. Trading him at the height of his value is a smart move.
The A’s are not falling back to square one, just as the Blue Jays are not winning the AL East. One could argue that Oakland over achieved last year, but they would be incorrect. The Athletics’ pitching staff was a behemoth and with the playoffs as their goal, they achieved it convincingly.
I don’t believe the A’s need to spend money to get better this season. Trading Samardzija would hurt, but we don’t yet know who or what they get in return. The core of the pitching staff is intact and Oakland proved it can win without flashy names on jerseys. Slow your MLB offseason overreaction.
I love the MLB offseason as much as the next and am patiently waiting for our team, the New York Yankees, to make a move that will hopefully improve upon an aged roster. Yet most moves will not be of significant impact in 2015. The impacts will come from the prospects down the road as baseball moves away from the power game and embraces speed and defense.
Pitching moves make waves, but all of these hitters moving around for big money reminds me of what you said last week. It’s nice that our team, the Yankees, have held their money and not thrown it at last season’s big bat.
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